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Ranking The Top Five Hurling Goalkeepers In The Game Right Now

So far this year we have seen an exhibition of goalkeeping. From Eoin Murphy’s league performances to Anthony Nash’s incredible championship form, it’s a golden generation for net-minders. So, with that in mind, we have decided to rank the top 5 hurling goalkeepers in the game right now.

In the past decade we had the elite foursome of Damien Fitzhenry, Brendan Cummins, Donal Óg Cusack and Davy Fitzgerald. The debate as to who was the greatest will most likely never be ended.

Now, in the 2010’s, we have a new debate, a new breed. Since the turn of the decade, numerous goalkeepers have added a new string to their bows to their arsenal, the ability to score.

We’ve seen the likes of Anthony Nashgoing up the field taking penalties in the past. But, it should also be noted that the men between the sticks are now very capable long distance point scorers.

Of course, the fundamentals are still key for the number 1’s. Puck-outs, shot-stopping and aerial ability remain the key components.

So, who masters these skills the best?

5 Nickie Quaid (Limerick)

The Shannonsiders haven’t been on the receiving end of much praise recently. Their performances have been desperately uninspiring and they look a county on the decline.

The same cannot be said about Nickie Quaid however. Limerick’s last man has been a terrific goalkeeper ever since his arrival onto the county scene. Quaid’s natural hurling ability aids him brilliantly as a goalkeeper. A native of Effin, Quaid’s shot-stopping is of the highest level and has prevented many green flags being raised.

Some Effin keeper.

4. Stephen O’Keeffe (Waterford)

Fighting every ounce of recency bias in my body, Stephen O’Keefe is placed at number 4. O’ Keeffe’s shot-stopping, which was on full display last Sunday, is finally receiving the credit it deserves.

At times highly underrated, the Ballygunner man has shockingly yet to receive an All-Star nomination. This may change this year should the Déise bounce back from Sunday’s defeat. O’Keeffe boasts the proud achievement of causing a rule change in the GAA due to his incredible bravery in stopping Anthony Nash’s controversial penalties.

3. Colm Callanan (Galway)

Over the past number of years, the Tribesmen have improved dramatically in terms of consistency, this was helped in no small part by a rock solid goalkeeper from Kinavara.

Callanan has become a truly magnificent number 1. His performances in 2015 saw him awarded his sole All-Star. However, with Galway currently steam-rolling their way through the championship, a second may not be too distant. Callanan’s exploits in the Westerners victory over Tipperary were particularly outstanding.

2. Anthony Nash (Cork)

Again, recency bias was outfought here. Were this written on Sunday evening, that might have been harder to do and Nash would have probably taken top-spot. The Kanturk man has been outstanding since he took over the reigns from Donal Óg in 2012.

Nash made his debut in 2007 versus a Déise side who netted 5 that day. We would have to wait 5 years to see Nash again, but ever since, he has excelled. Anthony Nash’s penalties were the cause of much controversy, however it is his excellent goalkeeping which he will be remembered for. As of late, his distribution from puck-outs has become downright scary.

He is extremely unfortunate not find himself at the top of the list.

1. Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny)

The number one spot was always going to be debated. However, Murphy has simply been incredible since the slight decline of Kilkenny. The Glenmore native has got it all and more.

Like Quaid, Murphy is a natural hurler. Followers of third level hurling or the Kilkenny club championship will know all about Murphy’s impressive outfield ability. It is between the sticks where the Fitzgibbon medalist shines for the Cats however, and he is undoubtedly one of the best to ever do the job for the Cats.

Murphy’s shot-stopping and distribution has reached an insane level in recent times, and he has an incredible highlight reel for a net-minder. His collection of high-quality saves is downright scary. Add to this, his ability to convert placed balls and high-fielding, there is nothing the former WIT student hasn’t got in his arsenal.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.